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Abstracts from Volume 1, Number 1 of MC2R

Mobile Computing: Where's the Tofu?
(Invited Paper)

M. Satyanarayanan

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA


How significant is the recent explosion of activity in mobile computing? Hardly a day passes without some new evidence of the proliferation of portable computers in the marketplace, or of the growing demand for wireless communication. Support for mobility has been the focus of a number of experimental systems and a few commercial products. The growing number of conferences, workshops, and specialized publications shows the intensity of interest in this field. Clearly, a lot of very smart and capable people in academia and industry are investing their time, energy and money in mobile computing.

But frenzied activity is hardly proof of lasting value. Nagging doubts about mobile computing persist in the minds of thoughtful individuals. Are we just riding the hardware technology curve? Are there any real intellectual challenges? Are there deep issues to be investigated, or are we just pandering to the latest fad? Do we have any insights to offer to the rest of Computer Science, or are we merely a parasitic field?

This paper is my attempt to answer these questions. I believe that mobile computing represents a true inflection point in Computer Science. It forces us to face new constraints and address new challenges. The problems it generates are deep, and elude easy solution. What we learn in trying to solve these problems can be of considerable value in a much broader context.

Supporting Personal Mobility For Nomadic Computing Over The Internet

Yalun Li Victor C. M. Leung

Department of Electrical Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

This paper presents a new paradigm for nomadic computing over the Internet called universal personal computing (UPC), where mobile users can access computing resources, network services, and personalized computing environments anywhere using any available terminals. The concept of UPC and system design issues are discussed, and the required system architecture capable of managing different mobile objects, i.e., users and terminals, in the UPC environment is presented. Modifications of connection setup procedures between user application programs to enable addressing based on a global user identity are considered.

The ACM Special Interest Group on Mobility of Systems, Users, Data and Computing A Publication of SIGMOBILE A Publication of SIGMOBILE